Knoxville is revitalizing the Happy Holler area by opening new stores on every street. Among these is Retrospect Vintage Store, which opened earlier this year on Jan. 2.
Retrospect is co-owned by longtime friends Tree Ely-Green and Gina Alazawi.
"We chose the name Retrospect because we wanted it to say what we had," Ely-Green said. "We either wanted vintage or retro in the title so we tossed around a few names and this one we liked. This store is all about looking back in retrospect."
Ely-Green said she learned to love the vintage lifestyle from her mother.
Before opening Retrospect, she owned another vintage store that was located in Seymour on Chapman Highway. Alazawi also owned her own vintage store in Clinton. The two recently reconnected and made the decision to open up a vintage shop together in Knoxville.
"We chose this location for the new store because of all the parking offered," Ely-Green said. "We also liked this location because we knew the Happy Holler area was going to be improved."
The shop owners said they're both eager for the pretty weather to arrive so they will be able to open their doors and use the side walk in front of their store to display their merchandise.
They also believe the warm weather will bring people out and draw them to the store.
"A lot of the people we see that come to the store either heard about us from a friend or read an article somewhere about our opening or were walking down the street and saw the new store," Ely-Green said. "We have already had some repeat customers from the local neighborhood."
Most of the products found in Retrospect are acquired by the shop owners or by people who come in and sell their items. They find most of their products at yard sales and state sales. The Retrospect owners also rent out sections in their store to vendors who can sell products they find or make.
"The most random thing in the store right now is a coffin," Tree said. "We sell a lot of clothes, furniture, knick-knacks. More recently we have been selling mostly furniture."
Melissa Dudrick, sophomore in nursing, is an avid visitor of vintage stores. She said she learned about the new store and its location from friends who had previously visited Retrospect.
"It's awesome having such a cool store so close to campus," Dudrick said. "I could spend hours going through all of the unique stuff they have."
The co-owners said they hope Retrospect has a bright future and are ready for the new customers Happy Holler's revitalization is expected to bring to the store.